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Dont Surf And Drive: MSN TV To Go

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[ Business]

Microsoft, like the other major players in the tech world, isn’t about to miss the boat on Web and mobile entertainment. Google and Yahoo will no doubt be launching a media blitz at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and Microsoft has won’t be overshadowed. The Redmond-based software-and-everything-else company has made agreements to take MSN TV to the car and anything else that moves.

In a joint announcement, Microsoft Corp. and KVH Industries are bringing MSN TV service to consumers traveling in cars, trucks, RVs and boats throughout the United States, using KVH’s Mobile Internet Receiver.

“With more than 20 million automobiles expected to be equipped with video screens by 2011 and color TVs as standard equipment aboard boats and RVs for many years, these screens provide an excellent platform not only for live satellite TV and gaming, but also for an integrated Internet solution,” said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s president and chief executive officer.

KVH’s Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service, a customized version of the MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player, will provide in-motion access to Web browsing, Microsoft Windows Media Player, MSN Mail and MSN Messenger, digital photo viewing, MSN Video, and MSN Radio with two-way connections made possible by broadband EVDO cellular services.

“Today’s consumers expect to be able to stay connected while they’re on
the go in their vehicles,” said Sam Klepper, general manager for the MSN TV division at Microsoft. “With the availability of MSN TV service on KVH’s Mobile Internet Receiver, consumers will now be able to communicate, access information, and enjoy digital entertainment wherever their travels may take them.”

Connection speeds for EVDO service are similar to residential DSL broadband service, with a maximum speed of 2.4 Mbps and typical speeds of 400 Kbps to 700 Kbps. When EVDO is unavailable, the system will automatically switch to standard 1xRTT data service, which is available in most cellular coverage areas. 1xRTT has a maximum upload and download speed of 144 Kbps, and typical speeds of 50 Kbps to 80 Kbps.

By using EVDO services for connectivity along with built-in Wi-Fi output, the vehicle or vessel is turned into a “mobile hot spot.” Passengers will be able to connect to other Internet services using Wi-Fi-enabled laptop computers, PDAs and other devices using an Internet browser, e-mail application or instant messaging tool.

Dont Surf And Drive: MSN TV To Go
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